Brexit Australia deal backed by Lord Hannan after ’lopsided’ complaints – ‘How is it bad?’

Australia trade deal ‘won’t be a lowering in standards’ says expert

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Appearing on yesterday’s episode of BBC Newsnight, the former Tory MEP and adviser to the Board of Trade took aim at complaints about the planned trade deal with Australia. Emily Maitlis pointed out to Lord Hannan data suggested Australian exports of beef to the UK could rise by 83 percent if the trade deal succeeds.

After the Newsnight host called the arrangement “totally lopsided’, the former MEP said: “The way you’ve just phrased that demonstrates exactly what is wrong with this debate.

“We are not opening our markets to Australia as a favour to Australia, we’re opening our markets as a favour to ourselves which may happen incidentally to benefit some Australians.

“How is it a bad thing to be getting high-quality, more diverse products at an affordable price from around the world?”

Turning his attention to Martin Kennedy, President of NFU Scotland and guest of the programme, Lord Hannan said Britain imports “about 250,000 tonnes of beef”.

He then added: “On that beef, 91 percent is imported from the EU, one percent of it is imported from Australia.

“And I just cannot understand how the NFU (national farmers union) can say that we should have tariff free and quota free trade with every EU country but not from anyone else?

“That is just a completely illogical position.”

Seeking to calm MPs nerves about the arrangement, Trade Secretary Liz Truss told the Commons international trade committee the trade deal would open up key markets for British farmers.

She added: “I’ve been very clear with them [farmers] that of course I’m always looking to make sure, as I have committed to, that British farmers will not be undercut by unfair practices from elsewhere.

“We will make sure in all the deals we do that British farming thrives and I’m absolutely confident that will be achieved through the Australia deal.”

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